Preparing for college is a complicated and time consuming process. Whether you're a student looking at school options or a parent seeking advice, our guide will help make this big step a little easier to take.More >>
KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- Choosing a college for your high school graduate may be one of the toughest decisions your family makes.
But experts say you just need to ask yourself a few questions to find the right fit.
College admissions officers encourage you to do your homework early.
You can find nearly all the basic information you need about a university from its Web site. Or call the admissions office.
Plus, every high school guidance office has lots of information on universities.
But don't wait until the last minute to make up your mind.
"To me, it's really scary to talk to a senior or a late junior high school student who's narrowed down his or her choices to 15," said Nancy McGlasson, of the University of Tennessee Admissions Office, "because they've got so many schools to review, to think about, to visit, to ask questions of."
College admissions officers say it's best to narrow your choices to no more than five serious contenders by the end of your student's junior year. Then you can begin your initial college visits.
Think of a list of important questions you want answered. Visit the admissions office at all of the colleges and ask the same series of questions to compile a fair comparison.
"You have to know, does it make sense in my head? Does it make sense in my heart? Does it make sense in my pocket book or my wallet?" said McGlasson.
Admissions officers also suggest a walk around the campus to get a feel for how life would be there.
Make sure your choice of schools offer the right courses for what you want to study.
Don't forget to check out the surrounding community.
And most importantly, be sure it's financially possible for your student to attend the schools on his or her wish list.